We arrived at the hospital in Atlanta at 6:00 am on December 20, 1995. The Labor and Delivery Team was prepped and ready for action. My husband and I had the standard "Go Bag" with us, that we'd carefully prepared during the previous month. It had all of the crucial items meant to make our delivery room experience as rel
axing as possible. You know, creature comforts. Soothing music for the delivery room, a camera for catching the highlights (waist up only, cause nobody needs to see that). Snacks to sustain the expectant father while he's trying to play coach and avoid fainting. The hand-picked, "going home" outfit for baby and mama. They were Santa inspired, because Christmas was less than a week away.
When I found out that schools were going to be closed, I was shocked, excited, and concerned. I was shocked because I would never in a million years believed something like this would be happening to me in my lifetime. Excited because I really needed a break from work, trying to juggle the kids to get up in the morning by a certain time and Grad school. I was just exhausted and ready to finally be able to get some sleep. The main thing was feeling like I did not have to be rushed. I can finally take a breather at my own pace. Lastly, I was concerned because I did not know what to expect. Was it deadly? Should I be concerned for my kids? Where did it come from? So, much.
I will not make the same mistakes that you did because I will not let myself as my heart has had so much misery before you came along; now that I’m tough enough to stand my ground no matter how much you try to split me, my soul and my man up. I will not break to satisfy you nor anyone else to get what I want; you fell so hard, scream, shout and everything when you get told “no”. I learned the hard way of working towards something I want in life; if I never let it get this far screaming, demanding and everything else just because everyone would give it to you straight away.
My most powerful and far-reaching memory, my first recalled betrayal, occurred when I was five years old. I was playing at the house of the family across the alley. My older sister played with their daughter, and I played with their son Jay, who was a few years younger than I.
Monday mornings usually go about the same each and every week. I start collecting my things and secretly try to put on my shoes before my toddler notices. He knows what this means; shoes are symbolic to him. When he catches on, he frantically starts trying to find his shoes. Shoes mean Mommy is about to leave; shoes mean a meltdown is coming. He thinks that if he also puts on his shoes, he will be able to go with me. This breaks me, every single morning, this breaks me. As I give him kisses and tell him goodbye, I can hear him start to cry as I walk out the door. I have come accustomed to redoing my makeup in my car. My eyes swollen from a mix of crying and sleep deprivation. I give myself the same pep talk every morning - you got this; you can do this.
Bob was my stepdad for twelve, long years of my childhood. In all fairness, he was more like a gruesome fraud, catapulted into my life by a fallen angel- he never actually put a ring on it. Nonetheless, he basked in the imposturous role of the heartless dictator that he was- narcissistically blinded to the reality that one day, when he least expected it, I would get my ultimate revenge.
Did I do the right thing?
Okay, yeah. I’m purty settled in now. Is this what they call a easy chair? No? Well, it’s purty easy to set in. Say, is my picture gonna be in your magazine too, or just words? I mostly like to look at the pictures.
Why Don’t I Have Friends Like Susan?
That's what it was! Juts KIDS!
If you happen to be reading the opening sentence of this paragraph, I want to say thank you for letting me share. When we look back at 2020, it is quite possible that it will be spoken about as arguably one of the most defining shifts in human consciousness we have ever seen. Something like the Civil Rights Era and the Age of Enlightenment wrapped into one. The gravity of worldwide Black Lives Matter protests coinciding with our continued fight against Covid-19 is unmistakable regardless of where you stand on either subject.
From a young age, I was taught the morals and foundation of Judaism. I attended a Jewish preschool, where I recited the prayers over the challah, wine (or grape juice for us 4-year-olds), snack and Shabbat. I earned the most mitzvah leaves in my class- each mitzvah leaf would be pinned up on our tree labeled with our name to keep track of all the good deeds we did. Being Jewish is giving back to the community and our families, providing support and prayers for those who need it, cooking delicious meals and using every opportunity to turn a Jewish holiday into a feast. Also adding a few comical Yiddish words into everyday conversation. The Jewish culture is rich in traditions, values, flavors and compassion. Coming from a reformed family mostly focusing on the familial element of Judaism and growing up in New Jersey, I imagined the whole world was favorable towards this seemingly peaceful religion. So when I found out my grandma is a Holocaust survivor and suffered through such a hatred, I had many questions.